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Author Topic: Mistakes in Frayling's DVD Commentaries  (Read 25284 times)
stanton
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« Reply #60 on: January 15, 2014, 03:27:07 AM »

This is actually the weakest scene of FOD. The cemetery shooting, not the montage. This and the lame river massacre. I'm sure Leone would have conceived these scenes very differently if had shot FOD after FaFDM.

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« Reply #61 on: January 15, 2014, 03:55:23 AM »

I love the whole movie, i don't have a problem with any of the scenes. I particularly don't understand what your problem is with the massacre scene, which I like very much... Come to think of it, I actually have one problem with the massacre scene: Why are the Mexican soldiers such pussies? They are soldiers, they all have guns, why wouldn't they fire them at Ramon? All the shooting is coming from one man - Ramon - firing the machine gun. Why wouldn't any of the Mexican soldiers fire their guns at Ramon and try to kill him, instead of running away like a bunch of scaredy cats? Were they so rattled by the rapid fire of the machine gun that they turn into a bunch of scared little kids? But overall, it is a very good scene.... I do recall Frayling saying that the massacre scene was directed by the second-unit director (preumably while Leone was filming scenes on the main set). I don't understand why Leone would leave such a major scene in the hands of his second-unit director (i can't imagine it's because he, a sophmore, didn't have the confidence to think he could pull off that big scene; after all, he did have lots of experience on sword and sandal films, including with action scenes like supposedly the chariot race scene of Ben ... Maybe it's cuz the budget was so small that they had save money by shooting very quickly, forcing them to use  the second unit whenever possible?)..... RE: the cemetery scene: notice how different the sky looks in the cemetery scene (blue, like its evening) and in the scenes - taking place at the same time - in the Rojo courtyard (like when TMWNN knocks out Mario Brega, and where he later tries to revive Marisol after punching her) - the sky is black, like at night. Since those scenes were occuring (simultaneously) after the Rojo-Baxter dinner meeting, it would have been late at night. So, while the sky was properly black in the Rojo compound, it should have also been black by the cemetery

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« Reply #62 on: January 15, 2014, 04:16:10 AM »

To clarify the first sentence of my previous post: i didn't mean that I don't have any problems with anything that happens in the movie, as if it were a perfect movie. What i meant was, there are no scenes in which I have a problem with the scene as it is, like where i would say "this is a bad scene" or "the movie would be better off without it". This is a great movie, and every moment  is a joy Certainly, it shows the effects of having such a miniscule budget, but in a way, that is its charm. Eg. As Sir Christopher has said, the budget was so small, they couldn't afford to pay extras to fill the streets of San Miguel. But as it turns out, that contributes to its look, like a ghost town... Kinda like how great paintings are so beloved - even the small cracks in the canvas come to be seen as a part of the great whole :-)..... (set aside Colossus of Rhodes) : Unbelievable how, starting with FOD, every film Leone directed was great (or at least very very good.) Not a bad one in the bunch - just about every well-known director has a bad one here or there, but not The Geat Leone. Of course, one can wonder whether he would have kept that perfect record if he had lived longer and directed, say, 26 movies instead of 6. But, all we have is what we have, and we are lucky to have had Sergio long enough for a perfect 6 masterpieces out of 6 :-)....btw, the 25th anniversary of Leone's passing is coming up on April 30, 2014; we should plan something. Maybe a trip to Almeria or NYC filming locations. Maybe we can make special t-shirts or sumthin. We should definitely do sumthin to commemmorate it....

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stanton
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« Reply #63 on: January 15, 2014, 05:46:21 AM »

1. The problem of the river massacre is not so much the directing, but the lame cutting and the unimaginative conception.
The Cemetery scene is even worse. It looks ridiculous and is really badly directed.

2. A director who cares for his film uses a 2nd unit director by giving him exact instructions what he wants and how he has to shoot it. Leone is responsible for what the 2nd unit does also when he did not care for it, cause then he should have cared.

3. If the FOD budget was really 200 000 $ or even 250 000 $ it is not that cheap compared to the 600 000 $ for FaFDM or the 1 200 000 $ for GBU. Unlike these 2 film FOD used mostly already existing sets, decors and costumes and I'm sure that the complete crew was only paid at a fraction compared to the successors. Actually FOD doesn't look really cheap thanks to directing, photography and the production design.  

4. Leone made 7 good films (including Nobody), but only 2 masterpieces. Imo

« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 05:48:04 AM by stanton » Logged

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« Reply #64 on: January 15, 2014, 07:26:39 AM »

3. If the FOD budget was really 200 000 $ or even 250 000 $ it is not that cheap compared to the 600 000 $ for FaFDM or the 1 200 000 $ for GBU. Unlike these 2 film FOD used mostly already existing sets, decors and costumes and I'm sure that the complete crew was only paid at a fraction compared to the successors. Actually FOD doesn't look really cheap thanks to directing, photography and the production design.  
More than the amount of money involved, the special conditions of the production should be remembered. I found a relevant passage in the SL Encyclopedia:
Quote
Bullets don't argue/Le pistole non discutono. Directed by Mario Caiano and starring Rod Cameron, this was the other Western Papi and Columbo were producing at the time AFOD was shot to take advantage of costs averaging. The two productions used "the same locations, most of the same crew, the same costumes, the same kind of screenplay, and even some of the same actors" (Frayling 131).
FOD had to piggy-back on the production of this other film. Thus, we can imagine that Leone operated under constraints (not only financial) he would not have to endure later. Subsequent producers allowed Leone to be more himself.

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« Reply #65 on: January 15, 2014, 08:38:29 AM »

DJ citing the SL "Encyclopedia" reminds me of a law professor I had who used to rant about judges who, when writing a ruling, would stated a "fact" with a citation, and when you actually go and check the source in the citation, it is of a previous ruling by the very same judge ;-)

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« Reply #66 on: January 15, 2014, 08:44:40 AM »

I wouldn't say FOD looks "cheap" in a negative sense, but you can definitely tell it did not enjoy the same budget as Leone's later movies.... RE: stanton's point about the later budgets: Frayling did say that when you consider that FAFDM built a whole new set, the $600,000 budget wasn't that much more than FOD's $200,000..... (also, Eastwood was paid only $15,000 for FOD; I think he got $50,000 for FAFDM.)But to me, FAFDM definitely looks like a much more expensive production.

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« Reply #67 on: January 15, 2014, 09:52:54 AM »

DJ citing the SL "Encyclopedia" reminds me of a law professor I had who used to rant about judges who, when writing a ruling, would stated a "fact" with a citation, and when you actually go and check the source in the citation, it is of a previous ruling by the very same judge ;-)
You will note that my citation contains an embedded quote from Frayling. Is it your contention, then, that I and Frayling are the same person???(which would be quite a compliment). We'll have to wait a bit, I'm afraid, before bestowing on you the Oliver Wendell Holmes Award For Advanced Rationalization.

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« Reply #68 on: January 15, 2014, 10:01:02 AM »

Another story is that Rod Cameron, the lead of Bullets Don't Argue, got as much money as the whole cast of FoD.

FoD was a cheap film, but it was also a film which did not need that much money, which could be made with a small budget without suffering from that. Compared to most other SWs FOD looks quite expensive.

Btw, are there any informations how much shooting days it had?

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« Reply #69 on: January 15, 2014, 04:16:39 PM »

You will note that my citation contains an embedded quote from Frayling. Is it your contention, then, that I and Frayling are the same person???(which would be quite a compliment). We'll have to wait a bit, I'm afraid, before bestowing on you the Oliver Wendell Holmes Award For Advanced Rationalization.

I don't want anything with Holmes's name on it. Fuck him.

One generation of imbecile is enough.


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« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2014, 06:20:15 PM »

Roughly translated from the Tonino Valerii MNIN commentary:

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Things like this happen. I ask myself why one makes such a big deal about the three scenes that Leone filmed in my film when no one cares that Franco Giraldi filmed half of ‘A Fistful of Dollars.’ Half of the film, it is Giraldi. The massacre of Rio Bravo, it is Giraldi. The night at the Baxters’ and the killing of all the family, it is Giraldi. The cemetery scenes, the comings and goings, the burying of the bodies, it’s Giraldi. Leone did not spend a single day in Almeria. When I did the location scouting for ‘For a Few Dollars More’ he had never seen Almeria. Giraldi filmed half of his film. No-one remembers it.

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« Reply #71 on: January 15, 2014, 07:22:04 PM »

That's fucking. dynamite.  I did not know that... and I don't recall Frayling mentioning it in STDWD, or on the dvd commentary. The only scene I recall Frayling saying that the second-unit filmed was the massacre at the Rio Bravo.
(I was not aware, until I just checked IMDB, that Valerii was actually an undredited assistant director on FOD.)

I assume this must have been due to budgetary constraints mandating a short shooting schedule.

On the subject of MNIN - so I know there's been lots of discussion and debate about which scenes Leone actually directed - what does Valerii say about that? Does he say specifically which scenes Leone directed?

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« Reply #72 on: January 16, 2014, 03:09:15 AM »

What Vallerii says about half of FOD is wrong anyway. It's not half of the film, it's mostly 2nd unit material, and we don't know for sure if it's all true.

Valleri claims that he made MNIN in the sense of MNIN being his film, but he seems to be the only one who thinks so according to most of the stuff I read about MNIN. For the scenes which Leone actually directed Valleri gives him only credit for some minor comedy stuff, while Leone grabbed in later interviews all the fillet pieces for himself, which is most likely not true, and remained silent about the comedy parts he most likely also directed.

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« Reply #73 on: January 16, 2014, 06:04:08 AM »

What Vallerii says about half of FOD is wrong anyway. It's not half of the film, it's mostly 2nd unit material, and we don't know for sure if it's all true.
Right. Vallerii is notoriously unreliable.

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« Reply #74 on: January 16, 2014, 06:12:18 AM »

Is it?

Any other examples?

I only know that Terence Hill calls him a great liar, and was Hill says about MNIN is often the opposite of what Valleri says. But unfortunately Hill is, like so many others, not very specific about certain details. Just like that there was some kind of agreement to remain silent.

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